Wales are the Best of British
Monday, July 09 2012 @ 06:56 pm ACST
Contributed by: Aaron Richard
The Welsh Australian Rules Football League (WARFL) can today claim to have some of the best non-Aussie 'Footy' players in Britain. This weekend saw the AFL England Brit Cup hosted in Reading, and the WARFL Red Devils took home the Gold against 5 other teams representing Aussie Rules Leagues in England.
The tournament was a 12-a-side round robin competition of 20 minute games, with a strict ruling of no Australians allowed. With the coaches of the Great Britain Bulldogs watching, every team had the cream of British talent on display in one of the toughest competitions of the year. The Devils were made up of players from teams in the WARFL as well as Welsh International Players.
Thanks to Josh Davey for this report.
The Welsh got off to a fairly poor start as they struggled to a win against the Southern Saxons and then, due to some poor goal-kicking lost to the Northern Warriors 2.2.14 - 1.6.12. Lunch gave the Devils a welcome break to reorganise as they came out to thrash the London Honeybadgers, without conceding a single point. Complacency then kicked in as the kicks started going wayward again, however the Devils were able to see off the host, the Reading Kangaroos.
The Devils then went into their last match, against the unbeaten and pre-tournament favourite, the West Midlands Tigers, knowing that victory would assure them a place in the tournament Grand Final. Despite some intense pressure from the Midlands and some early goals, the Devils held their own and came out 3.5.23 - 3.2.20 winners.
This result placed the Devils and Tigers at the top of the table, but the Devils thrashing of the London Honeybadgers gave them a better score advantage to place them at the top as Minor Champions. The two teams then battled it out again to crown the Champions of the Brit Cup. The Tigers had brought 6 interchanges to the Devils' 1 and were looking for revenge, however the Devils dominated the first half and took a 1.2.8 lead into the break. However, the West Midlands subs started to tell as they took full advantage in the second half and looked to make a comeback. Two behinds made the score 1.2.8 - 0.2.2 to the Devils and it was only through sheer persistance and bravery in defence that the Devils held on to be crowned the 2012 Brit Cup Champtions.
Special mentions go to 1st year Rookies Emerson Bessell, Owain Rylands and Leigh James, all of whom held their own against the best of the best and Welsh International George Llewellyn who scored two wonder goals, one of which sunk the Tigers' the first time around.
To find out more about Aussie Rules in Wales, please visit WARFL.org.uk